"How're we doing?" is a question clients commonly ask, and no wonder. They want to know how much response PR initiatives being taken on their behalf are getting. And these days, responses of interest are increasingly likely to be found on the web, in readership of blogs and other Web content materials. Thus the need for PR prowess with web analytics. (Wikipedia defines analytics as: "The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.")
Enter Lewis PR. The firm has specialties in social media and web analytics. More to the point for practitioners, it has an excellent blog, Facebook, and Twitter presence with lots of readily available information on learning and using analytics for PR tracking and validation. Its post, "How Communications Pros Can Get Started with Web Analytics" is a good introduction to Lewis' approach to analytics – how materials circulated on the Web are doing out there.
Analytics, Lewis notes, can produce steady growth in PR impact, rather than the spurts seen with given campaigns. But learning analytics takes patience and a good tutor. Lewis seems to be bidding for the tutorial role and is off to a promising start. Consider joining the class!
(Even before digging in on analytics, check to see whether your Web service provider has a "/stats" feature to add to your web URLs. If so, it will likely let you do initial tracking and get you started on analytics with little effort. There's a great deal more to be learned, but easy starts are always a joy.)
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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